Winter Home Updates You Don’t Want to Forget

With the temperature continuing to drop every day, be sure your home is winterized and ready for the elements. Here is a simple guide to preparing your home for some potentially bad winter weather.

Clean your gutters. If there was only one update you do to your home to prepare for winter, make sure it’s to clean your gutters! An overflowing gutter can lead to serious problems, including water going up and over the edge of the gutters, and potentially into your home, which could lead to some severe damage. Ice can also form on your gutters and the weight can pull your gutters off, possibly damaging your roof. Make sure to brush snow off gutters, as well. Be prepared for whatever Mother Nature sends our way by cleaning out your gutters prior to any extreme winter weather.

Check your downspout. Be sure to check your downspout to make sure it is directing the water away from your foundation. Brush snow away from downspouts, as well. The last thing you want is for your downspout to be directing water INTO your house!

Insulate windows and doors. For energy efficiency, check your windows and doors to see if any air is escaping. If there appears to be gaps, you will want to caulk those areas to keep water and cold air out.  Caulk doesn’t last forever, so if it’s been awhile since you’ve caulked, it might be time to do a touch up. You’d be amazed how much money you could save on your electric bill by insulating your house!

Protect exposed pipes. Reduce the risk of frozen pipes (a major headache you definitely want to avoid) by removing hoses from exterior spigots and not turning your heat down too low for extended periods. Even “freeze-proof” faucets can cause a broken water line if the water in the hose freezes and expands the pipe. If you’re leaving the house for a vacation, do not turn your thermostat down too low. Just remember that just because the temperature is what you are calling for at your thermostat, the space under a cabinet on an outside wall gets a lot colder especially during extended periods of cold.

Replace your air filter. In the cold winter months, you are spending much more time indoors, so increase your indoor air quality with a new air filter. If you or a family member is sensitive to irritants in the air, try an allergen reducing filter.

Reverse ceiling fans. Make sure your ceiling fans are switched to the clockwise or reverse position. This will blow warm air down to the floor for enhanced energy efficiency. This sounds silly, but trust us, it really works!

Trim trees. Trim overgrown branches away from the house and electrical wires (we recommend hiring a professional near wires) to prevent heavily iced branches from causing serious damage or a potential power outage. A power outage is not ideal during any season, but a winter power outage is particularly harsh.

What are you tips for winterizing your home? Do you prepare an emergency weather kit? We’d love to hear them in the comments or share them with us on Facebook!

photo credit: roswellsgirl via photopin cc